The temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) is a complex joint that attaches the jaw to the skull. It works like a hinge joint. When people have pain here, they often refer to the pain and TMJ.
Pain in the TMJ in correctly termed as temporal mandibular dysfunction (TMD)
- Pain with chewing/talking
- Ear pain/ache
- Maxillary pain (sinusitis)
- Runny nose/stuffy nose
Think of the jaw like a swing, if one chain is short on the swing, the swing deviates!
There are some important muscles that have to work constantly throughout the day that can get very irritated after chewing gum, grinding teeth, dental work, and clenching.
The main muscles include:
- Lateral pterygoids-shown above
- Medial pterygoid
- Masseter-shown above
The lateral pterygoid has a superior and inferior muscle attatchment.
- protusion of the jaw
- side to side movements
- opening the jaw
Dysfunction: Because of the two different attachments of this muscle, there can be assymetric open/deviating of the jaw if one attachment gets tighter than the other.
It's RARE to have a muscle accomplish this many movements.
Dr. Rider has found the best chiropractic treatment on the jaw includes the use of Dry Needling.
- Dr. Rider has spent 60 hours of in class education.
- Dr. Rider has spent hundreds of hours learning anatomy including dissection.
The precise needle placement in order to access the lateral pterygoid muscles include:
- The patient opens their mouth 10-15 mm in order for the jaw to decend.
- The needle will be inserted below the zygomatic process (cheek bone).
If you are experiencing jaw pain, contact Rider Chiropractic Sports and Injury for your consult to see if this is the right treatment for you.
When the muscles around the jaw articulation get tight and irritated, this can cause unnatural movements in the jaw. Often time this results in clicking or popping with pain.
There is a small disc in the TMJ. When the muscles surrounding the TMJ get tight, they increase the pressure on this disc.
This can cause a pinch point and force the disc to follow the movement of the jaw and snap over the condyle causing a click or pop.
This can cause permanent damage if left alone, as well as, long term jaw irritation.
The temporalis is a muscle that originates on the side of the skull and is one of our main muscles for mastecation (chewing).
- The anterior portion of this muscle elevates the jaw.
- The posterior portion retracts the jaw (slides backwards).
- The temporalis inserts on the coronoid process of the jaw.
- If you have pain with these functions, schedule your appointment.